New faculty members, 2014-2015

December 18, 2014

The College of Education welcomes 13 new tenure-track faculty members this academic year.


Emily-BouckEmily BOUCK, Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education
Ph.D., Michigan State University

Emily Bouck’s research focuses on improving outcomes of secondary students with high-incidence disabilities through advances in two strands of scholarship: standard academic curricula (i.e. mathematics) and functional curricula. Within these strands is a focus on how technology can support students with disabilities in accessing and achieving in both curricula, and translating success to post-school experiences.

In her own words, Dr. Bouck discusses challenges and issues addressed with her research, and the impact she hopes to make:

I feel my research can make an impact by identifying factors that do or do not positively impact post-school success for students with disabilities and then respectively advocating for its inclusion (or lack thereof) in K-12 education. Likewise, my attention to supports—such as technology—that can assist students with disabilities in terms of access and support can relate to helping teachers identify and understand research-based practices that do promote access and achievement and those that do not. In both situations, I feel my research impacts by informing and advocating for effective practices for in-school and post-school success.


Dunn-AlyssaAlyssa Hadley DUNN, Assistant Professor
Department of Teacher Education
Ph.D., Emory University

Alyssa Hadley Dunn’s interests include urban teacher education and support and the sociocultural and political contexts of urban schools. She approaches her work with the understanding that education can represent spaces for creating a more liberatory world and that quality research critically examines the way that schools operate in just or unjust ways. She is exploring the relationship between teacher morale, empowerment, and neoliberal education reforms for preservice educators, veteran teachers in urban schools, and new teacher educators.

In her own words, Dr. Dunn discusses challenges and issues addressed with her research, and the impact she hopes to make:

My work in urban schools seeks to uncover the ways that current policies, reforms and practices are working for or against equity for all students and teachers. I hope to make more apparent the lived realities of educators today as they try to work for social justice in their schools and communities. Amidst a climate of standardization and accountability at all levels of education, I think it is vital for educators to feel empowered to be agents for change so that they may instill this commitment in their own students. My hope is that my research is able to tell educators’ stories in a way that demonstrates the challenges they are facing while simultaneously underscoring the promise and possibility of urban education and equity.


Crocco-MargaretMargaret CROCCO, Professor & Chairperson
Department of Teacher Education
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Margaret Crocco became chairperson of the Department of Teacher Education in May 2014. Her research has focused on issues of diversity within a social studies education context. She has investigated how “women of the world” have been featured—or ignored—in global studies and world history courses, state curriculum frameworks, and teacher preparation programs. She has published work related to human rights education, peace education, women and religion, and cross-cultural representations of women in literature.

In her own words, Dr. Crocco discusses challenges and issues addressed with her research, and the impact she hopes to make:

Currently, I am working on a review analyzing the degree to which “novice-expert” constructs have informed the work of teacher education in social studies. I hope that this work will help us improve teacher preparation in social studies.

Likewise, I am interested in the topic of sustainability and the pedagogical strategy of democratic dialogue as a means of teaching about sustainability. I am preparing a paper for an international conference on sustainability education that will address this topic. Through this line of inquiry, I hope to bring greater attention to teaching about sustainability into social studies.


Erickson-KarlKarl ERICKSON, Assistant Professor
Department of Kinesiology
Ph.D., Queen’s University

Karl Erickson joins the MSU kinesiology faculty in January 2015. His research focuses on athlete development and coaching in youth sport, and understanding youth sport as a context for personal development. He is interested in the integration of performance, health, and psychosocial outcomes and how interpersonal processes associated with participation in sport influence these developmental outcomes. His work examines the influence of coach-athlete interactions, the learning and development of sport coaches, and the influence of different contexts in which youth sport takes place.

In his own words, Dr. Erickson discusses challenges and issues addressed with his research, and the impact he hopes to make:

We know from previous research that youth spend more time participating in sports than any other activity other than school. Given the prevalence of sports and the growing emphasis on the importance of physical activity, I believe it is important to examine the developmental implications of these significant contexts. My research addresses two primary questions: 1) How does participation in youth sport contribute to psychosocial development in children and adolescents, and 2) How can this contribution be optimized toward positive youth development? The goal to produce and share innovative research that has the potential to contribute to our knowledge base and to enable positive real-world change for individuals, sport and youth organizations and communities.


Hauck-JanetJanet L. HAUCK, Assistant Professor

Department of Kinesiology
Ph.D., University of Michigan

Janet Hauck is focused on examining health behaviors and designing and implementing meaningful interventions targeting motor behaviors. She is interested in physical activity and gross motor delay in children with and without disabilities. Her recent work includes the design and implementation of physical activity intervention studies for youth with Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is investigating the relationship between physical activity, motor development, adiposity, and growth during the first 18 months of life for infants with and without Down syndrome as a means to understand pediatric obesity at its earliest stages.

In her own words, Dr. Hauck discusses challenges and issues addressed with her research, and the impact she hopes to make:

Current research suggests that behaviors occurring in the first six months of life contribute to obesity status in toddlerhood. My hope is to identify potential correlations to excess weight gain at 18 months of age, including possible links to the amount of physical activity and rate of gain in motor skills during early infancy.


Lee-GloriaGloria K. LEE, Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Gloria Lee’s research focuses on psychosocial adjustment of people with disabilities and their caregivers, and vocational issues and rehabilitation of people with disabilities. She is investigating risk and resiliency factors associated with the psychosocial adjustment of people with chronic illnesses and chronic pain. She is also studying factors affecting the psychosocial adjustment of children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and the vocational challenges and needs of transition-age and college-aged students with ASD.

In her own words, Dr. Lee discusses challenges and issues addressed with her research, and the impact she hopes to make:

Ultimately, I would like to understand the complex, interrelated issues of how psychosocial variables of people with disabilities and their caregivers may affect each other’s adjustment, thus providing a comprehensive understanding, advocacy and service to enhance the well-being of families and people with disabilities.


Parks-AmyAmy Noelle PARKS, Associate Professor
Department of Teacher Education
Ph.D., Michigan State University

Amy Noelle Parks is interested in young children’s mathematical experiences, both in and out of schools. She is particularly concerned with representing the experiences of children from marginalized groups in the research literature and with promoting humane schooling practices for all children. Her current projects include investigations of the role of play in mathematical learning, the resources parents draw on when supporting their children in mathematics, connections between emotional relationships and content learning in primary classrooms, and the mathematical engagements that are possible in informal spaces.

In her own words, Dr. Parks discusses challenges and issues addressed with her research, and the impact she hopes to make:

My research is concerned with several problems: the ways the experiences of non-white and poor children have been marginalized in educational research and policy and how early schooling has become increasingly unpleasant for many children since the start of the high-stakes testing movement. Additionally, my research deals with the relationships between young children’s pleasurable mathematical engagements in informal spaces and their, often unpleasant, experiences in formal ones. My hope is that the research will shape the ways that other educational researchers conceptualize their own projects in relation to children and mathematics. I hope it will have an impact on schooling practices by helping educators to more broadly conceptualize young children and to draw on the resources children bring from their homes in relation to mathematics.


Rispoli-KristinKristin RISPOLI, Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education
Ph.D., Duquesne University

Kristin Rispoli has expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She is interested in the connection between early parenting and children’s development, family-school partnerships, and behavioral and social-emotional interventions. Her recent work examines interventions aimed at increasing positive parenting and parent-child engagement in adolescents. Next, she plans to design and implement interventions to promote parent-child and parent-teacher relationships among parents and teachers of preschool-age children with ASD.

In her own words, Dr. Rispoli discusses challenges and issues addressed with her research, and the impact she hopes to make:

I plan to develop techniques to increase parental involvement in education for historically underserved populations where children are at risk for underachievement. The long-term goal is to prevent school failure and dropout by ensuring that at-risk students enter school with the social-behavioral skills needed to benefit from their instructional experiences.

I also hope to better prepare parents to manage the challenges that come with raising a child with ASD through a preventative approach that focuses on supporting early communication and social skills. The research will also focus on teachers’ knowledge of techniques to support social engagement and interaction skills. My hope is to increase the capacity for including students with autism in general education classrooms and improve their academic trajectories.


Shah-NiralNiral SHAH, Assistant Professor
Department of Teacher Education
Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley

Niral Shah’s research focuses on equity in STEM education. He is interested in the interaction between societal discourses and the dynamics of teaching and learning in STEM. His research has investigated processes of racialization in mathematics, with an emphasis on how racial narratives (e.g., “Asians are good at math”) mediate classroom interactions and serve to position students as more or less capable of learning mathematics. His work in computer science investigates the relationship between status hierarchies and students’ opportunities to learn.

In his own words, Dr. Shah discusses challenges and issues addressed with his research, and the impact he hopes to make:

For too long, many students in the U.S.—particularly students of color—have not had a fair opportunity to succeed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In part, this inequity is the result of subtle forms of marginalization that take place within STEM classrooms on an everyday basis. My research aims to shed light on how educational inequity emerges at that level. My hope is that this research will facilitate the design of more equitable pedagogies that broaden all students’ access to the social and cognitive resources needed for learning.


Volker-MartinMartin VOLKER, Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education
Ph.D., Hofstra University

Martin Volker’s research interests include assessment and measurement issues in psychology and education with a focus on two populations: intellectually gifted children and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). He has conducted studies examining the psychometric properties of five major behavior rating scales used to screen and diagnose children with ASD. He has also examined the most valid methods for determining the levels of depression and anxiety in children with high-functioning ASD.

In his own words, Dr. Volker discusses challenges and issues addressed with his research, and the impact he hopes to make:

I am interested in understanding how people on the autism spectrum are similar to and different from those who are typically developing and those with other clinical conditions, how to accurately diagnose and characterize those on the spectrum and how to reliably and validly measure intervention-related changes in those with ASDs. I am currently working as part of a team of investigators, examining the efficacy of a comprehensive school-based intervention for elementary school students with high-functioning ASDs.

My research identifies both associated features and potentially meaningful subgroups within the larger autism spectrum, and develops treatment-sensitive measures to be used in ASD intervention studies. This work often involves examining the extent to which, and under what conditions, different measures of the same construct or different sources of assessment information may yield divergent results.
Research results are intended to assist professionals working with ASDs in applying evidence-based interventions, selecting proper assessment measures and measuring intervention impact.


Chezare-WarrenChezare A. WARREN, Assistant Professor
Department of Teacher Education
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago

Chezare Warren’s research interests include urban teacher preparation, culturally responsive teaching, and critical race theory in education.He has studied the utility of empathy for White female teachers’ cross-cultural interactions with Black boys—work for which he received the 2014 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). Currently, he is looking to examine the school conditions and teacher dispositions that produce high academic outcomes for students of color, particularly Black males in K-12 education contexts.

In his own words, Dr. Warren discusses challenges and issues addressed with his research, and the impact he hopes to make:

My work explores the conception, nature and relevance of empathy as a professional disposition of teachers in multicultural educational settings. This line of research is intended to empirically operationalize the application and utility of empathy for cross-racial or cross-cultural school stakeholder relationships. I am most concerned with producing research that leverages student voice, as well as research that employs asset-based theoretical perspectives and approaches to disrupt deficit perspectives of black male youth, their communities and their school achievements.


Wilinski-BethanyBethany WILINSKI, Assistant Professor
Department of Teacher Education
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bethany Wilinski joins the faculty at MSU in January 2015. She is interested in domestic and international early childhood education policy. Her research focuses on how teachers make sense of and implement early childhood policies and how policy shapes families’ access to early childhood programs. Her international work is based in Tanzania, where she is involved in research, curriculum development and teacher training projects for Michigan State University’s Tanzania Partnership Program.

In her own words, Dr. Wilinski discusses challenges and issues addressed with her research, and the impact she hopes to make:

My research focuses on the lived experiences of teachers, children and families, asking how policies shape their daily lives and experiences. Through this line of inquiry, I seek to contribute to the understanding of early childhood policy implementation and to inform policies and practices that promote equity and attend to the diverse needs of young children and their families.


Yadav-AmanAman YADAV, Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education
Ph.D., Michigan State University

Aman Yadav’s research focuses on preparing teachers to embed computational thinking practices and computing in the classroom. He is working to establish an evidence-based professional development program, including continuous online support, to improve teachers’ knowledge to teach computing concepts at the high school level. In addition, his research focuses on developing an understanding of problem-based learning (PBL) and case-based instruction (CBI) in STEM disciplines, with a specific focus on engineering education.

In his own words, Dr. Yadav discusses challenges and issues addressed with his research, and the impact he hopes to make:

In spite of the increasing demand for professionals with computing experience in the workforce, computer science plays only a minor role in K-12 education. My work addresses the critical need to train new teachers in the teaching of computer science at the pre-service level as well as the in-service level. I hope that this work will have a significant impact on how to prepare teachers to teach computer science, especially those with little computer science background.